Neither Extreme, Nor Golden Mean

It’s lease time, which is a good opportunity to reflect on another year in this house, in this city, in this region.

In recent years, what’s become increasingly clear to me is that a combination of less-extreme elements doesn’t necessarily make for a golden mean amongst them all.

For example, the place I live now is a little funky, not quite city, and surely not rural. It’s also connected to Boston, but — in that strange way of “the area” — most certainly not in Boston.

What’s most striking, though, is that not-too-funky plus not-too-city does not equal halfway between a funky town in Alaska and a big city on the East Coast. And a little strip of lawn around the house isn’t halfway between an apartment building and a ranch house.

Earlier this week, I had a chance to visit a friend with whom I’ve explored big cities, small towns, and more than a few mountains. Sitting in a speakeasy in the city, sporting our outdoor-inspired fashion, we shared a good laugh about how we like to explore the edges and find it hard to settle between them.

There are places worth living, and places worth visiting. But I’m not so sure about the idea of difference-splitting. Two halves of the baby isn’t quite the same as a whole one.